This is a very interesting piece of news according to NBC News reporter Pete Williams, who reports that the DOJ’s criminal division investigated Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president and found nothing wrong:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 25, 2019
According to Williams, who cites DOJ officials as his source, “somebody in the intel community heard about the call” from White House officials.
That person then complained to the intel community’s Inspector General, suggesting that Trump’s request to investigate Biden’s son may be a violation of campaign finance law, as if Trump was soliciting a foreign contribution.
The DOJ’s office of legal counsel “concluded that the complaint didn’t meet the narrow technical standard for passing on a complaint from the intel community to Congress”, according to Williams, because it wasn’t an intelligence activity and didn’t include any intel employees.
“But”, Williams notes, “the Justice Department said the appropriate thing to do was to refer the matter to the Justice Department’s criminal division and that’s what happened.”
Williams reports that the Justice Department, including career employees, concluded that there was NO campaign finance violation in this call. He said “they did so after looking at the call, talking to people at the White House about the call…” and they “concluded that what the president was asking Ukraine to do did not amount to a thing of value.” Williams adds that this is what the law would require for it to be considered a solicitation of a foreign contribution to a campaign.
So there was no quid pro quo and there was no solicitation of a foreign contribution. But hey, let’s impeach Trump anyway because that makes sense.